What are whole grains?
Whole grains, or foods made from them, consist of the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel. The kernel is made
of three components—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed,
rolled, extruded, and/or cooked), the food product should deliver approximately the same balance of nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.
Why do children need to eat more whole grains?
Whole grains are full of flavor and add texture to our diets. They provide an abundance of fiber and nutrients such as riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 recommends that children and adolescents consume
whole grain products such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat products often and at least half the
grains should be whole grains.
Whole grain foods have many health benefits and are good for the whole family. The consumption of whole
grains reduces the risk for heart disease and cancer and may improve blood-glucose control in people with
diabetes. Eating oatmeal may help reduce cholesterol levels
How can you get your children to eat more whole grains?
- Whole grains may be eaten whole, cracked, split, or ground. They can be milled into flour or used to
- make breads, cereals, and other processed foods.
- Start introducing whole grains when children are young.
- Combine whole grains with familiar refined grains if children are not accustomed to eating whole grain foods.
- Serve whole grain breakfast cereals, pancakes, and waffles.
- Use whole wheat bagels, tortillas, and pita pockets.
- Prepare sandwiches using whole grain breads or rolls.
- Expand your grain repertoire with whole grain complements – such as brown rice, wild rice, and bulgur.
- Choose whole grain pastas.
- Feature whole grains such as wild rice or barley in soups, stews, casseroles, and salads.
- Toast grains to bring out their nutty flavor before adding them to recipes.
- Prepare pizza with a whole wheat crust
Plan and offer a variety of breads such as whole wheat breads and multigrain breads.
Begin slowly and gradually increase the whole wheat flour until it is greater than 50%. More leavening ingredients and liquids may be required as the amount of whole wheat flour increases.
Steps to Basic Bread Making
1. Prepare the ingredients.
2. Mix the ingredients.
3. Knead the dough.
4. Rise the dough and punch down.
5. Shape the bread and the second rise.
6. Bake, cool, and serve.
Flour, yeast, and water are the core ingredients for making bread. Salt, flavorings
(such as raisins, dried cherries, nuts, seeds), and enriching agents (such as oil,
eggs, milk) may be added for taste and variety.
Flour is the primary ingredient in breads, and wheat is the most common type of flour used in bread baking. Wheat is
rich in gluten, a protein that gives dough its elasticity and strength. When flour is mixed with liquid and then kneaded,
the gluten forms and stretches to create a network that traps the carbon dioxide bubbles produced by the yeast.
Gluten gives the kneaded dough its elasticity, allowing bread to rise and contributing to the chewy texture of bread.
Whole wheat flour is made from the whole kernel of wheat and is higher in dietary fiber and overall nutrient
content than white flours. It does not have as high a gluten level, so often it’s mixed with all-purpose or
bread flour when making yeast breads.
All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat; it may be bleached or unbleached and is one of the most
commonly used and readily accessible flour.
Bread flour is white flour made from hard, high-protein wheat. It has more gluten strength and protein content
than all-purpose flour. This is the best choice for yeast products.
Substitute a portion (try 25%) of the wheat flour with a variety of grains, such as rye, millet, oatmeal, cornmeal,
bulgur, and cracked wheat to name just a few. The higher the proportion of whole grains you add, the heavier
and smaller the loaf, since these grains contain little or no gluten.
There can be no risen bread without yeast. Yeast is a living organism that extracts oxygen from sugars in flour to
produce carbon dioxide when it comes into contact with water. The gases that form are then released, creating
gas bubbles in the dough and making the dough rise
National Food Service Management Institute
The University of Mississippi